Chapter

Love and defection

Tony Shaw

in Hollywood's Cold War

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625239
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670918 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625239.003.0002
Love and defection

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This chapter reviews Ninotchka's three different lives during the early years of the Cold War. It also emphasises the American film industry's ability to combine profits and politics almost from day one of the conflict. The introduction of new film censorship rules strengthened the industry's conservative outlook. MGM's Ninotchka was not designed for political purposes, but rather to entertain and make money. This film displays the unacceptable face of capitalism in the shape of the aristocratic Swana, who is vain, greedy and does not work. It also strikes a blow for American meritocracy, which creates a fairer society. Silk Stockings follows the plot of Ninotchka fairly closely. It probably speculated and reinforced many cinema-goers' appreciation of the basic differences between the East and the West. Ninotchka is an early example of the degree to which the celluloid Cold War was fought independent of official propagandists.

Keywords: Ninotchka; Cold War; American film industry; film censorship; capitalism; American meritocracy; Silk Stockings

Chapter.  14298 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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